The most important unused theatre in the UK
Hippodrome facade c1922

BHCC policy statements

These are statements about the Hippodrome in Brighton & Hove City Council documents.

City Plan Part One
(March 2016)

CP5 Culture
'It is part of the core cultural policy of Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) to protect the Hippodrome, to attract visitors, support regeneration and sustainable communities and work towards the city’s ambition to be a ‘city of culture’.
4.54 Brighton & Hove is the creative powerhouse of the region and has the potential to become a national cultural leader [Brighton & Hove City Council Cultural Strategy, 2009]. It is important that the city’s existing cultural infrastructure (arts, performance and creation space) is protected and enhanced and that new proposals complement and contribute to the city’s unique tourism offer. Examples include the Old Market in Hove and the Hippodrome in Brighton. To maintain the potential for a wide variety of arts and cultural uses existing venues . . . will be protected for their existing use or potential for such use. Proposals for change of use would need supporting documentation to demonstrate availability of adequate provision, equally as accessible by the community, elsewhere in the city and that the existing use was no longer viable or could no longer be sustained on a long-term basis (through marketing information, a business case, and information on the availability of funding).
4.55 . . . Demand remains for arts and creative industries workspace that is affordable in comparison with market rents, as well as flexible. Opportunities will be sought through site allocations in the City Plan Part 2, through Developer Contributions, SPDs or development briefs in preparation for regeneration schemes and major mixed use developments across the city.

CP15 Heritage
4.170 A requirement to conserve the identified special character of conservation areas, and the settings of other heritage assets, will be reflected in Planning Briefs and area-based Supplementary Planning Documents where appropriate and will inform the Urban Design Framework proposed under Policy CP12. New development in conservation areas, and within the setting of heritage assets, should take the opportunity to enhance the significance of those areas or settings wherever possible.
4.172 Keeping heritage assets in use is inherently sustainable as it avoids the consumption of building materials and energy and the generation of waste from the construction of replacement buildings.
4.174 CP5 Culture and Tourism recognises the relationship of the wealth and importance of the city’s historic environment with tourism and cultural industries in the city. This policy also has important links to CP13 Public Streets and Spaces.

Old Town Conservation Area (OTCA) Character Statement
(February 2017)
The Hippodrome occupies a large parcel of land with a long frontage on Middle Street and a service yard entrance on Ship Street and its condition is having a negative effect on the character and appearance of the conservation area. Loss of significant historic fabric or economic potential would be a threat to the conservation area’s special interest and to the surviving evidence of Brighton’s development as a seaside resort in the late 19th and early 20th century.
      A major opportunity at present is the repair and reuse of the Brighton Hippodrome, which has the potential to revitalise the centre of the conservation area.

Old Town Conservation Area Management Plan
(October 2018)
The council will expect any acceptable scheme for the site to fully restore the Hippodrome for a use that retains the auditorium as a single open volume capable of maintaining a performance function, together with the conservation of the other front and back of house spaces (including the foyer and Hippodrome House) that contribute greatly to its significance and which enable its appropriate reuse. The adjoining land offers the opportunity for new development that would partially fill the gaps on Middle Street and Ship Street and enhance those street scenes through development, for a mix of uses, of sympathetic scale and massing. Such development must not, however, prejudice the appropriate reuse and future servicing of the Hippodrome itself. The centre of the site adjacent to the fly tower may potentially accommodate greater height than the street frontages but must be mindful of longer views. The view eastwards from Boyce’s Street is of particular importance as Hippodrome House terminates this view in an attractive manner. The building frontage to Middle Street should be carefully restored in accordance with the available historic drawings.

The default option is therefore restoration of the complete theatre.

Our emphasis added.

Image: The Hippodrome facade c1922

Page created 7 August 2021